“The coming months will show how and what is (not)a successful trump, and bring his ability to make “effective transaction” the United States and the world more good than the unfulfilled plans of Barack Obama, who tried to find a compromise and maintain peace,” writes for natoaktual.cz Michael Romantsov.
To evaluate the successes or failures of a politician who has just resigned his post, is problematic because such assessments to a certain time. What today seems a victory may soon be a mistake or something even worse.
A textbook example in the field of foreign and security policy is Neville Chamberlain, who tragically wrong in the assessment of Hitler and Mussolini, trying to keep the peace, removed from the path of aggressive dictators of the obstacles, thereby bringing the beginning of the war.
And although we don’t know how will be assessed by the era of the Obama presidency, now because of the (imaginary?) the inability to timely identify the problem and use its solution strength it is quite often compared to former British Prime Minister or oppose such giants as Churchill and Reagan.
There is a rule, not only in foreign policy that in one situation you can either act or not to act. Both always entails predictable and difficult to predict in advance the consequences. It is not only important that once the politician decides (not)to act, there is no way back, but why he made this decision. What was the reason for the action or inaction.
Already mentioned Winston Churchill in his “Second world war” is very interesting to describe this problem, writing: “Here, perhaps, it would be appropriate to state some of the principles of morality and behavior that can serve as a guide in the future. A similar case can never be considered in isolation from the environment. At the time of the event, many facts may remain unknown and their estimation is inevitably based primarily on guesses that have been affected by the General mood and purpose of the person who is trying to make a decision.
Those who by temperament and character tend to look for clear and indigenous solutions, who is willing to fight at the slightest challenge from a foreign power have not always been right. On the other hand, those who usually bows his head and patiently and persistently seeking peaceful compromise, are not always wrong. On the contrary, in most cases they may be right not only morally, but from a practical point of view. How many wars have been prevented with patience and persistent good will!
Religion and virtue are equally approve of humility and obedience in the relations not only between people but also between Nations. How many wars have been caused by hot heads! How many misunderstandings that caused the war, could be resolved with the help of waiting! How often have countries fought cruel wars and then after a few years of peace found themselves not only friends but allies!”
The “Arab spring”
When Obama became President, the United States was not only the strongest but also the most frightening power in the international system. Americans feared not only their opponents but also some allies. The “war on terrorism” and revealing enemies on the so-called axis of evil not only divided Europe into “old and new”, but questioned the existence of alliances and the manner in which the United States since 1945 and up until today have behaved in the world. Americans and the world are tired of the operations that the beginning of the Bush administration, in spite of anyone and anything.
The promise of Obama to put an end to this style of politics was perceived positively, and in some regions of the world, including the so-called greater middle East, we witnessed a subsequent calm the situation. However, all the positive aspects, including the elimination of Osama bin Laden in may 2011, has depreciated due to the fact that in December 2010 started the event called the “Arab spring”. North Africa and the middle East suddenly found themselves in an even worse state than it was after the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. Who was to blame? Adherents of conspiracy theories from around the world, the Communists and the Kremlin, it was clear — Obama and the USA!
The “Arab spring” as Obama’s presidency, still awaits detailed study and evaluation, but at least one thing worth mentioning. From the moment when, in Arab eyes, the US became the main protector of Israel, almost any political demonstration in the Arab world is not complete without a ritual burning American and Israeli flags. So why suddenly markedly diminished these classic political acts, and why anger the “Arab street” has fallen on the Americans or the Jews, and their own leaders? Maybe it was the unresolved internal problems? The demographic situation, lack of jobs, rampant nepotism and corruption?
These events shocked not only the United States and the Arab countries of North Africa and the Middle East, but the rest of the state, which played in the region and in the world in any significant role, not excluding Israel. USA as the most powerful and at the same time normative power, tried to resolve the situation and restore peace. The European Union, especially Britain and France, tried to do something similar in Libya. However, the considerable success they have achieved, and the question remains whether there had actually been something like that, given the used means possible. The apparent reluctance to repeat the Iraqi scenario has led to criminal indecision in the case of Syria than in the end their advantage was used by Russia.
The rise of Russia as a failure of Obama
At the moment the main failure of Obama think that the “rise” of Russia for its aggressive actions in Ukraine and Syria. Time will tell whether that which we have seen become really “rise from knees” and returning the lost positions one of the two most significant powers, or, on the contrary, we see the beginning of the final Russian retreat, because the quantitative attributes that in the 19th and 20th century allowed Russia to pursue great-power politics, and now the face of China and the United States pale, and of Russia as well as before, it is not enough.
But the Russian political “rise” indicates, probably, the most serious problem of the era of Obama, which threatens to migrate to the era of Donald trump. And this problem is not the (in)sufficiency of operations in the fight or the war against Arab and Muslim terrorists, but in the wrong “reading” of where and why the world is headed.
Remember that Obama planned to end the conflicts in the middle East, to limit American military presence in Europe to agree on a new military-defense principles with Russia and focus on Asia, more specifically China. After all, the main theme of his first presidential term was the “pivot to Asia”.
In the world after the Second world war created by the Americans, it was clear who and why is the friend and who is enemy, and what are the rules of the game. The first major problem that led to thinking about the “end of history”, was the unexpected and rapid collapse of the Communist block and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Second, even estimated, but a quicker than expected economic recovery of China.
And while the West is rightfully and naturally felt like a winner, Russia had absolutely other problems and needs. Defeated Germany and Japan had at the time, “unconditionally surrender,” so they were able to impose the rules of the game, which eventually proved to be beneficial to them. In the case of Russia, nothing like this happened. She was offered the rules of the game allowed me to enter the Great eight. However, Russia has not coped with any political transition or economic transformation, and because of the problems that emerged after 11 September 2000, it has steadily and successfully compensated for their small economic weight offer cooperation in the fight against terrorism (2001-2006), and since 2007 — the open opposition to American leadership.
Obama’s attempt to “reset” the relationship in 2009-2010 failed, and because he believed that Medvedev really is some change in the Russian leadership, because not understood: size is a priority for Russia, and its guarantee is essentially a nuclear Arsenal.
Then, as I think the Americans made a fatal mistake, because the Russian — and then, most likely, it does not matter who heads the country — already knew that you can’t count on the balance of power, and are forced to rely on the nuclear “balance of terror”. So a world without nuclear weapons would mean the world without Russia… So in Moscow, so loudly laughed at the fact that Obama’s activity in this sphere he was awarded the Nobel peace prize.
Obama, quite unintentionally, succeeded his proposal for a world without nuclear weapons to hurt Russia in the most sensitive spot. And only a matter of time, where and when Moscow will start to complicate Washington’s life. In the end, it didn’t happen in Asia, where the Northern distribution network through Russian territory to Afghanistan, where the Americans and their allies with their presence observed,including, and Russian interests in the security sphere, and in Ukraine and in Syria.
The resumption of us-Russian confrontation and the potential for conflict in Europe, suits and China, economic and military-political rise of which Obama initially believed the main challenge for the United States. The situation on the Korean Peninsula and the South China sea remains tense. The Americans quite successfully cooperated with India and Vietnam, but a split occurred in the Philippines. From the TRANS-Pacific partnership, which Obama considered the backbone of future American relations with the Asia-Pacific region, the new President trump refused…
The coming months will show how and what is (not)a successful trump, and bring his ability to make “effective transaction” the United States and the world more good than the unfulfilled plans of Barack Obama, who tried to find a compromise and maintain peace. This puts it on par with the us presidents who managed after 1945 to maintain peace in the relations between the powers. Let’s hope that Obama will not be the last of them.